The axe finally fell on Worksop Magistrates’ Court last week- signalling an end to over 800 years of local justice in the town.
Proposals to close the court, which first emerged in March of this year, were slammed by Bassetlaw MP John Mann who later led a debate against them in Parliament.
“Thousands of years of history, the basis of British justice- is now threatened for the first by the cutbacks of this penny-pinching Government,” Mr Mann argued during the debate.
“Local justice has been good enough for the last thousand years in Bassetlaw and will be good enough in the years to come.”
The battle to save the court was in vain, however- with the court hearing its last criminal cases last week on Thursday 30th October.
The building will now only be used for civil and family work, with residents having to travel approximately 15 miles to Mansfield Magistrates’ Court for criminal cases.
Mr Mann and Worksop residents have spoken of their anger and disappointment over the closure, a move which one resident worries will ‘take Worksop off the map.’
Local shopkeeper George Nixon said: “The closure of the court could put by my business at serious risk.”
“I often get kids coming into the shop attempting to steal things, and I won’t feel my business is as safe now the court is lost.”
“Closing the court will take Worksop off the map and cause crime to rise. I worry they will take local policing away from us too.”
John Mann added: “The court was perfectly adequate for hearing cases.”
“It is outrageous that 800 years of local people determining local justice has been thrown away by the Government.”
“Alternative proposals and the geographic reality of Bassetlaw have been completed ignored.”